by Elena Manferdini
In a society of duplicated and copies, originality is merely a romantic deception.
Nowadays, contemporary architectural practices have embraced a way of working that utilizes scripting chronicles, robotic fabrication, and digitized replicas even in the most personal part of the project: the sketch. Doubling is the new-normal that subverts the one-off and glorifies multiples. Mass production -either visual or material- is our way of living. Mass customization, as it turns out, is an anachronistic concept that refers to a way of working that belongs to the past.
The lecture argues that it is time to theorize similarities rather than originality and will explore the relationship of replicas in our contemporary design practices. This lecture will argue that copy and original can coexist in what we will define a state of twoness. The term twoness refers to a status of double consciousness and describes the feeling that you have more than one social identity, which makes it difficult to develop a sense of self.
In particular the lecture will try to define the role of procedural scripting when used in the early stages of architectural design at Atelier Manferdini as a way to produce multiple sketches rather than multiple mass customizable products. The premise is that parametric tools produce a variety of options that are not necessarily used to produce a variety of customized projects for the market, but simply a multitude of initial sketches that architects can use and adapt in their final designs. Multiplicity is not a way of mass-customize a product, but a tool to calibrate an idea.